Law enforcement officials continue their investigation into Tuesday’s deadly shooting at Marshall County High School.
Kentucky State Police are now saying that a total of 20 people were affected during the shooting — with 16 suffering gunshot wounds (Previous reports said 19 total, 14 gunshot wounds).
KSP issued a news release with the updated total Tuesday evening and later offered a clarification regarding the numbers.
Of the victims, 14 were male and six were female. The victims ranged between 14 to 18 years of age. Two of the victims died, one on the scene and another after being flown to Vanderbilt Medical Center. Of the four remaining victims at Vanderbilt, three are in critical but stable condition and another is in stable condition.
A 15-year-old with a gun opened fire inside Marshall County High Tuesday morning, killing two people and several others.
During a news conference Tuesday evening, Kentucky State Police Commissioner Rick Sanders identified the two deceased students as 15 year-old Preston Ryan Cope and 15-year-old Bailey Nicole Holt.
KSP said the alleged shooter, a 15-year-old male student, is in custody and will be charged with murder.
KSP detective Jody Cash said police have not had any reason to believe they are looking for anyone else.
Marshall County schools are closed Wednesday.
During the news conference Tuesday afternoon, KSP Commissioner Rick Sanders outlined the morning events.
The incident began at 7:57 a.m. Central when a 15-year-old student armed with a handgun entered the school and started shooting. 911 was contacted soon after. First responders arrived at 8:06 a.m. local time. Students did as they were trained, Sanders said.
The KSP critical incident response team, FBI and ATF are conducting the investigation and processing the scene.
Reactions at the Scene
WKMS reporter Nicole Erwin spoke with Heather Adams who said her child was evacuated from the high school after the shooting. She said she learned there was a shooting from her mother. She said her son texted her that he was safe and had to run from the shooter and take cover in the tech center. She said she was blocked from entering the high school, but made it to the board office and tried to help other parents.
Erwin said she spoke to a woman who was distraught and couldn’t find her child. She said it was the shooter’s mother, which she said was later confirmed by officials who began speaking with her.
Adams said, “I held her hair while she threw up… She needed an ambulance. She was going into shock. And I couldn’t get an ambulance there. I got yelled at by the police for calling for an ambulance… We got a firefighter’s coat to put on her.”
Gloria Hollifield said of the shooting: “It was the most frightening thing. I’m 60-some years old and I’ve never been so damn scared in my entire life.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell issued the following statement:
“First, this morning began with reports of a tragedy at Marshall County High School in Benton, Kentucky. State officials have reported at least one confirmed death and several injuries. My staff in western Kentucky is at the high school and is in close contact with local officials. They are monitoring the situation and will be providing me with updates throughout the day.
“I know I speak for communities across my home state in sending prayers of comfort and healing to students, faculty, and everyone affected by this violence. Our hearts are with the entire community in Marshall County. And our gratitude is with the first responders who rush into harm’s way.”
This story has been updated.